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Paleo Gave My Father New Life

The following paleo success stories are for my mom who needs some inspiration to start kicking ass again! You are never too old to start kicking ass, just pick on people who eat sugar!

First up is a man who nearly dies at age 79…he is lifting weights and walking again. Hell he isn’t on a respirator anymore…

  

My family is living proof that it is never too late to do the right thing.  A year ago almost to the day I write this, my father nearly died.  He had been unhealthy and ignorant of his diet all his life.  My mother frequently attempted to put him on diets, and I remember as a child often finding candy wrappers in the car from his secret binges.  He fell victim to poor education and deceptive, mislabeled products (such as chocolate-covered “blueberries” that he believed to be a nutritious alternative to standard sweets which were really blue-dyed sugary blueberry flavored jellies covered in processed chocolate “glaze”).  After he retired, he began spending much of his day watching tv, barely active (due in large part, I’m sure, to his declining energy from the low quality food he was eating).

My husband and I had some success with the Atkins diet over the years (this was the closest exposure we’d had to the paleo diet where the science of food began to make sense-i.e. take out the carbs, bring in the fat).  We tried to educate my father.  At his request, we would throw away the processed food whenever we visited.  But he was hopelessly addicted, didn’t have the proper education to understand why what he was eating was hurting him, and the bad foods would come right back in.  It never stuck.  He was routinely diagnosed as “prediabetic” even though his fasting blood glucose levels were up at 120 mg/dl and his A1C stayed around 6.0.  His triglycerides hit 177 and his HDL risk factor was 5.6.  [these numbers were from his routine physical in 2010].  His diet was only addressed by his doctors as a stern general warning that he’d best “eat healthy or lose a foot to diabetes” someday.  Of course eating “healthy” included lots of whole grains and avoiding fat.

LINK By Christmas, 2010, just after his 79th birthday, he weighed 281 pounds

Next up is a 71 year old who wasn’t in nearly as bad of shape. LINK

 

Thank you for The Primal Blueprint— a book that has changed the way I eat.

I grew up on a Wisconsin dairy farm a long time ago. 71 years old as I write this. Have been eating grains and grain products — anything made with flour — my whole life. I liked bread — especially when it was loaded with butter.

It was Gary Taubes’ Why We Get Fat that encouraged me to pursue other reading with the same subject material. That was when I found The Primal Blueprint. Both books spoke to me. Just made sense. That was early last summer. It was a poor time to start new eating habits when I would be dining with friends and relatives during my summer in Colorado.

Both books said to eliminate grain products from the diet. I believe my diet always was healthy. Never did buy into the low fat craze. The new variation (my paleo version) emphasized salads, vegetables, some legumes and meats (grass feed beef) or chicken (dirty feet free range) or fish (wild). However, the grain products still had a very small place in the diet along with the occasional sweets.

About two months ago, it was time to get serious and eliminate the grain products (breads, pasta, sweet rolls, pretzels) from my diet. After about two weeks, I realized that I was no longer gobbling antacid pills after many meals. Interesting. Costco was going to be in trouble economically. For many years, a large economy size container of antacids had a place in my larder. I ate them like candy after almost every meal.

Here is the story of a 64 year old who went from 245 to 175… LINK

 

Now let’s fast forward to July of 2010. I sat in my doctor’s office following his exam. He told me that my A1C had been progressively elevating and was now at 7.1. The diabetes pills were no longer effective for me. It was time for me to escalate on to insulin injections. My cholesterol was a whopping 250 and something more needed to be done to reduce it. My EKG apparently showed some abnormalities and he was referring me to a cardiologist. My creatinine levels were also a cause for concern; it appeared that I might have Stage II kidney disease, so he was referring me to a nephrologist as well.

My dad (deceased) had Type I Diabetes which was diagnosed when he was but a teenager and my older brother has Type II Diabetes. Both had to take insulin shots several times daily and I saw firsthand what that entailed and have seen my father in diabetic comas on several occasions. Not pretty! I have also known acquaintances who have suffered eye hemorrhages and amputations due to diabetes. I feared that my health was taking a huge nose dive.

I ask that you try to put yourselves briefly into my shoes for a moment. At this time of my life I am 63 years old. My physical health was progressively failing. I had chronic back pain in both upper and lower back, elbow tendonitis, loss of bone density and terribly achy joints. I could no longer do a single push up or even a sit up. It seemed that my muscles had atrophied from sitting at a desk all day with little to no physical exercise.

 

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